“African American Foreign Correspondents: A History” by Manship School’s Jinx Broussard Published by LSU Press
New book highlights the remarkable individuals that brought an often-overlooked black perspective to world reporting
BATON ROUGE – Though African Americans have served as foreign reporters for almost two centuries, their work remains virtually unstudied. In “African American Foreign Correspondents: A History,” now available from LSU Press, Jinx Coleman Broussard, the William B. Dickinson Professorship in Journalism at LSU, traces the history of black participation in international newsgathering.
Beginning in the mid-1800s with Frederick Douglass and Mary Ann Shadd Cary – the first black woman to edit a North American newspaper – African American Foreign Correspondents provides insight into how and why African Americans reported the experiences of blacks worldwide.
In many ways, black correspondents upheld a tradition of filing objective stories on world events, yet some African American journalists in the mainstream media, like their predecessors in the black press, had a different mission and perspective. They adhered primarily to a civil rights agenda, grounded in advocacy, protest and pride. Accordingly, some of these correspondents – not all of them professional journalists – worked to spur social reform in the United States and force policy changes that would eliminate oppression globally.
By examining how and why blacks reported information and perspectives from abroad, African American Foreign Correspondents contributes to a broader conversation about navigating racial, societal, and global problems, many of which we continue to contend with today.
Broussard teaches media history and public relations in the Manship School of Mass Communication at LSU. She is an associate professor and the public relations area head. She conducts research on the black press and is the author of Giving a Voice to the Voiceless: Four Pioneering Black Women Journalists.